Sen. Elizabeth Warren has a message for the GOP lawmaker who compared her to “Star Wars” villain Darth Vader: The force is not strong with you.
Rep. Blaine Leutkemeyer (R-MO) reportedly told an audience at the American Bankers Association on Wednesday that they should “find a way to neuter” the Massachusetts senator and referred to her as the “Darth Vader of the financial services world.”
On Thursday, Warren, who is widely known for her commitment to curbing corruption on Wall Street, struck back via a fundraising email in which declared she has always seen herself as “Princess Leia-type (a senator and Resistance general who, unlike the guys, is never even remotely tempted by the dark side).”
“Why would he go out of his way to say something so sexist and offensive? Is he hostile to all women? Clueless? Afraid? And then I had a second thought: This is all about money,” she added.
Tongue-in-cheek “Star Wars’ references aside, Warren takes Luetkemeyer to task for not only his cozy relationship with the finance industry, but the inherently sexist nature of his remarks, which have come in the wake of similarly problematic invective being directed at 2016 Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton.
According to Warren, Luetkemeyer is a “Wall Street yes-man” who has accepted “nearly a million dollars from the big banks, hedge funds and credit card companies,” including $50,000 from the American Bankers Association. Luetkemer has also sponsored bills in the past that would curb Department of Justice crackdowns on predatory lenders and another that would reduce oversight of payday lenders. Last year, the Center for Responsive Politics found that Luetkemeyer ranks among the top 10 recipients of campaign contributions from payday and short-term lenders.
“Luetkemeyer probably thinks that he’ll make big bucks from his Wall Street friends off of his sexist remarks. So how about if we push back in the way the Congressman and his Wall Street buddies understand: It’s a big goal – but can we match the $50,000 that the American Bankers Association has given Blaine Luetkemeyer? Please chip in whatever you can afford right now,” her message to supporters reads.
Previously, during a March 16 appearance on MSNBC’s “All In,” Warren issued this challenge in reaction to the Vader remark: “If Wall Street and their buddies in the Republican Party want to launch an assault on financial regulations … all I can say is, let’s have that fight. I’m ready. I am not backing down.”
Ironically, former Vice President Dick Cheney has happily embraced comparisons to the part-man, part-machine space villain. “I’m rather proud of that,” he told the Wall Street Journal last year. He also dressed up as Vader during a “Tonight Show” appearance in 2011 and has told conservative radio talk show host Laura Ingraham he is “honored” by the comparison.
Meanwhile, Warren won’t be intimidated by her critics. “They can call me Darth Vader or Voldemort or the Wicked Witch of Massachusetts for all I care – but I won’t be neutered. I won’t be muzzled,” she wrote on Thursday. “And I won’t stop fighting to level the playing field for working families.